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Care of a Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel

Dirty hands, sweat, body oils, hand lotion ...
your beautiful leather wrapped steering wheel is probably the dirtiest place in your car. And the really bad news is that if you dont clean the leather, it will crack, peel, lose that soft supple feeling, and look terrible.

Fortunately, cleaning a leather wrapped steering wheel is quick and easy.

First, you need to remove dirt and grime from the surface. This is done with a "leather cleaner". Simply spray/wipe a small amount of leather cleaner onto a damp cotton cloth, and gently wash the leather. You don't have to rub hard, just gently bathe the leather. Rinse the wash cloth clean, and wipe any excess cleaner off the steering wheel, then dry it with a towel.

The second step is to replenish the oils in the leather so that it will remain soft, flexible, and durable. Replenishing the oils is done with a leather conditioner. The best tool for applying conditioner is ... your bare hands. Simply spray a small amount of conditioner into the palm of your hand, and massage it into the leather for a minute or two. (The conditioner will actually soften your hands too!) Allow the oils in the conditioner to be absorbed into the leather for about 20 - 30 mintues, then simply rub it down with a clean towel to remove any excess conditioner.

What brands of cleaner and conditioner work well?

For Steering wheels, I personally love the convenience of pre-packaged quick wipes. They eliminate the need for storing spray bottles and towels, and they have just the right amount of cleaner and conditioner in them so you probably dont need to worry about wiping off excess conditioner.

I buy the Just For Leather quick wipes from the vending machine at the car wash. If you prefer to buy in larger quantities to save couple bucks, I recommend Lexol leather care products.
Lexol Leather Cleaner and Conditioner Quick Wipes Lexol Leather Cleaner and Conditioner Quick Wipes,
Available at Amazon.com and local auto supply stores.
Just For Leather Cleaner ready to use towel Just For Leather Conditioner ready to use towel Just For Leather quick wipes,
Available from the Kutztown Car Wash big blue vending machine.

A few worthwhile comments:

  • Try to get in the habit of cleaning your leather steering wheel every month so that dirt never gets a chance to build up. This good habit will ensure that the leather looks great and lasts a long time.
  • Some leather conditioning products can make your leather steering wheel feel slippery for a few hours. Allowing the conditioner to dry, and buffing it with a towel usually solves this problem.

Thanks for reading, I hope this article was useful to you!
...Paul

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